Apparently moaning helps. After my little rant on this blog a couple of weeks ago, I was suddenly struck by the muse and have since powered my way through 12,000 words or so. Hurrah! Yes, I know it’s quality not quantity that counts but still, I’m feeling alot better about the whole writing thing. In celebration, I printed off the novel as it exists to date, all 40,000 words. It was reassuringly weighty in my hand, but on closer inspection there was an alarming number of gaps and inconsistencies of style and it immediately dulled the brief joy that I had felt about the fact that I had written 40,000 words and the feel of those 40,000 words in my hand.
A fragmented approach to writing is to blame. Despite the existance of a chapter plan, the limitations of my life mean that I write in dribs and drabs, and rarely in chronological order. The result, as I say, is gaps and inconsistencies. I am now going through, page by page, re-writing and editing so that a homogeneous style prevails throughout, with a plan to get my first ten chapters completed in full by the end of March. After that I’ll start bridging the gaps between the already written later chapters and the not yet written chapters in between with a complete first draft ready for August. And then I’m going to breathe and maybe take a little jaunt to Dublin.
I’m always reading about writers treating the writing process like a job, going into their study at 9am, coming out at 1pm for lunch and then working again until 3pm or 4pm. I would love to have the time / space to work like this, but at the moment I don’t. From now on I will try to insert some disicpline into my writing life, such as it is. So, every day I will write for two consecutive hours and hopefully, as a result, whole chapters will be written with perfect ease in the way that they were on holiday last week, when I had no distractions, a sleeping child and skiing husband. Should this new regime fail, I may consider relocating to the alps permanently in a bid to re-create the perfect writing conditions. If I must suffer for my art in this way, so be it.